Giant hummingbird

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Giant hummingbird
Patagona gigas.jpg
Patagona gigas in Chile
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Trochiliformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Patagona
G.R. Gray, 1840
Species: P. gigas
Binomial name
Patagona gigas
(Vieillot, 1824)

The giant hummingbird (Patagona gigas) is the largest member of the hummingbird family, weighing 18–24 g (0.63–0.85 oz) with a wingspan measuring approximately 21.5 cm (8.5 in) in length, and wing strokes as slow as 12 per second.[2] This is approximately the same length as a European starling or a northern cardinal, though the giant hummingbird is considerably lighter due to its more slender build and fairly long bill. It is the only member of the genus Patagona.[3]

In Bolivia, the giant hummingbird is known in Quechua as burro q'enti. The Spanish word burro refers to its dull, relatively unattractive plumage compared to other locally occurring hummingbirds (e.g., red-tailed comet).[3]


The giant hummingbird is found in rather arid open woodland and scrub between 2,000 and 4,300 m (6,600 and 14,100 ft) above sea level in the Andes of South America, from far south-western Colombia to central Chile and Argentina.

Global range and population[edit]

The range of Patagona gigas is rather large, and its global Extent of Occurrence is estimated at 1,200,000 km2. Its global population is believed to be not less than 10,000 adults.[1]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Patagona gigas". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ San Diego Zoo's Animal Bytes: Hummingbird
  3. ^ a b Fjeldsa, Jon; Krabbe, Niels (1990). Birds of the High Andes. Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. p. 876. 

External links[edit]